The Mutheka Farmers’ Cooperative Society has several factories (washing stations)
in Nyeri, Central Kenya. Nyeri is located on the slopes of Mount Kenya, and together with the neighbouring region Kirinyaga, is known for its intense, complex, and flavour-dense coffees.
Smallholder farmers delivering cherry to the factories have an average of 250 coffee trees each. Other crops grown are maize, bananas and beans. The factory receives assistance from Coffee Management Services (CMS). The long term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training and input access, and Good Agricultural Practice seminars are conducted year round. CMS's goal is to establish a transparent, trust based relationship with the smallholder farmer, helping to support a sustained industry growth in Kenya, whilst bringing premium quality to our customers, and premium prices to the farmers.
Through the pre-financing they receive, farmers are given advances for school fees
and farm inputs. The factory manager is re-trained every year by CMS, in addition
to eld days being held by the Minister of Agriculture and agrochemical companies
who deliver inputs to the farmers.
After picking, ripe cherries are brought to the factory before they are wet processed. Wastewater is discarded into soaking pits, and recirculated for conservation. The factory uses a 3-disc pulper. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, soaked and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.
Nyeri has a mix of smallholders and block holders with small to medium farms.
Those who don’t have their own processing equipment deliver cherries to their
local cooperative. Most coffees are grown under shade from Gravelia and Muringa
Alloevella trees. Many of the farmers are surrounded by several wetmills and they can choose where they want to deliver their cherries. Due to the traditional auction system in Kenya, quality is rewarded with higher prices. The better factories will attract more farmers by investing in producing high quality coffee, which in
turn means higher second payments to farmers. This can in some cases be about 90% of the sales price after cost of marketing and preparation is deducted.
VARIETAL: SL-34, Batian, SL-28, Ruiru 11
OWNER: Mutheka Farmers’ Cooperative Society
FARM SIZE: small to medium farms
TASTING NOTES: Light body, high acidity, juicy, fruity, black currant jam